Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Face On The Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

The Face On The Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
Release Date: April 30th, 1991
Publisher: Laurel-Leaf Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 184
Source: Barnes and Noble
Buy the Book: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

"No one ever really paid close attention to the faces of the missing children on the milk cartons.  But as Janie Johnson glanced at the face of the ordinary little girl with her hair in tight pigtails, wearing a dress with a narrow white collar - a three-year-old who had been kidnapped twelve year before from a shopping mall in New Jersey - she felt overcome with shock.  She recognized that little girl - it was she.  How could it possibly be true?

Janie can't believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, but as she begins to piece things together, nothing makes sense.  Something is terribly wrong.  Are Mr. and Mrs. Johnson really her parents?  And if not, who is Janie Johnson, and what really happened?"

First off, how great is the idea for this book?  I've seen those ads looking for kids who disappeared years ago and its true who would recognize the child except the person themselves.  This plot had me hooked from the very beginning.  

Janie is just a normal, lactose intolerant girl.  She has a crush on her next door neighbor Reeve, a great life with parents who love her and she loves them back.  But then she sees herself on the milk carton and her world is turned upside down.  Did her parents kidnap her?  Are they horrible people or was it just a lapse of judgement?  Who is this other family of hers in New Jersey?  What if they want her back?  What if she has to leave her parents who she still loves?

I, for one, LOVE the Hannah twist but I'm not going to say anything because it is a little spoilery...

I liked how Caroline used flashbacks through out the books.  I liked how Janie slipped into them and didn't realize what else was happening around her.  In other books I've read, flashbacks happen while the character is sleeping so it is not noticeable to the other characters.

Even though I didn't love this book I will definitely read the rest of the series.

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